'It was really scary': N.J. mom warns parents to heed CDC warning about a virus affecting kids

A New Jersey mom wants other parents to pay attention to a new CDC warning about a virus hitting kids.

It landed her little boy in the hospital and has symptoms that mimic polio.

Kelley O’Neill and her 3-year-old son, Owen, were happy and excited the night before the first day of pre-school, but hours later, her son’s health took a turn.

"You could tell he was desperate for relief of whatever pain he was in," O’Neill stated.

What Kelley thought was a mild cold, with some sniffles and cough, turned into labored breathing with a respiratory rate of 40 breaths per minute. "When he reached 40, I said we need to go to ER."

Kelley says her son was admitted to the hospital and placed on oxygen. He tested positive for both rhinovirus and enterovirus. On Friday, the CDC put out a warning of increased hospitalizations amongst children coming down with these two viruses. In some cases, they can cause polio-like muscle weakness.

"Trouble swallowing, a droopy face, anything like that with muscle weakness, you need to get attention medically right away," Dr. Mike Cirigliano stated.

Dr. Mike says late summer and early fall is the season for these viruses. "What we are seeing now is an uptick in numbers in a number of communities across the United States." 

Kelley says, thankfully, her son was released from the hospital a couple of days later. "It was awful. Really, really scary."

Kelley put out a warning to other parents on social media, which actually prompted a friend to take her son the ER. Angela Sielski commented that her son remains in the pediatric ICU with similar viruses, but his condition is improving drastically.

"Their immune systems aren’t as strong as they were. These kids were locked up for two years and their immune systems aren’t great," Kelley said. "I don’t want to scare people, but I do think parents need to keep an extra eye on their kids."